I just installed Ubuntu 11.04 32-bit on my old P4-Ati Radeon rig. Boots well, gets into desktop, however left bar and top bar are garbled. Main desktop area and windows in that area are mostly fine, however some windows such as settings window have areas that disappear when mouse-over occurs. Right click menus also are garbled.

My guess is that my AGP ATI Radeon 3-series driver has faulty implementation. What can I do?

  • If it makes you feel better I have an Nvidia 9500 and it had the same problems when Ubuntu 11.04 came out. Over time there has been several fixes. For me all the upper bars (Title and Windows Bar) appear sometimes completely black and I have to drag a window over it to make it appear again. But before that I had all the symptoms you just mentioned. Right now only the upper part. Jun 10, 2011 at 2:45

3 Answers 3


It's known issue with ATI/AMD video cards on Ubuntu 11.04. This source was very helpful for me. Just need to read attentively and follow an instructions how to install proprietary driver aka Catalyst/fglrx .


Did you install these essential dependencies,

sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs fakeroot dh-make debhelper debconf libstdc++6 dkms libqtgui4 wget execstack libelfg0 dh-modaliases

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
  • Did you just make those up on the spot?
    – Hello71
    May 11, 2012 at 2:49
  • Not a very constructive comment, no I didnt make these up. many people forget about key dependencies when install drivers etc. See this question and answer askubuntu.com/questions/124292/… May 11, 2012 at 8:26

The built-in driver for Radeon cards have improved rapidly in the last releases. In 11.04, I too had a few problems with it when using Unity. This should be temporarily solved by choosing Ubuntu Classic as a session when you login.

Ubuntu 11.10 will be released in less than one week. It should have fixed these things, so I think the best choice is to use Ubuntu Classic until then and then upgrade to the new Ubuntu. I would actually not recommend installing the proprietary drivers. At least on HD 5850, the open drivers are much better on 11.10. They're better for most things in 11.04 as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.